Amakuru (UK) Ltd are looking for volunteers with energy and enthusiasm who want to make a difference, to take part in our programme!
Are you studying for A-levels, or planning a year away from education? Perhaps you simply want to give yourself a much-needed break after exams. Alternatively, you may be searching for a fulfilling activity to take part in after retirement, or during a break from work. No matter your circumstances, our programme is sure to provide a worthwhile, rewarding way of spending your free time.
You may volunteer for as little as 2 weeks (in July or August), or for as long as 3 months or more. Every programme we offer is designed to make sure you become involved in community development projects, directly helping vulnerable people in Rwanda who are still trying to overcome the effects of the genocide in 1994. You will be working in schools and shelters for street children; finding yourself living and working within communities where you will be making a real difference.
At the same time, you will enjoy excellent accommodation in the form of a hotel, hospitality centre, or volunteer house. Where you stay will be dependent on the length of your programme. Unlike other organisations, we feel it is important for you to enjoy some creature comforts – particularly if this is your first venture into volunteering.
Even the 2-week programme sets free time aside for you to take part in a day-long safari, enjoy parties, and experience a night out in Kigali with your new friends. Local Amakuru (UK) Ltd representatives will accompany you in order to ensure you have a great time.
The benefits of volunteering are vast. Undoubtedly, the experience will be life-enhancing for you while having a positive impact on those you encounter in Rwanda. Employers and universities also look favourably upon volunteering programmes, as they offer the opportunity to develop many desirable skills.
Amakuru (UK) Ltd puts safety and support at the heart of every volunteering programme. Our experienced staff, both in Rwanda and the UK, are always on hand to help with any issues that may arise. Because we focus our efforts on a single country, we are extensively knowledgeable about it and have built risk assessments, safeguarding procedures and volunteer support systems that are second to none.
"Never again" - these are the two words that have been etched into every aspect of life in Rwanda since the genocide in April 1994. The survivors are willing to do all that it takes to ensure that an event of this scale never happens again, not just in Rwanda but all over the world. In brief, the genocide was caused by years and years of tension between the two major ethnic groups, the Hutus, the majority, and the Tutsi, the minority. Then on April 6th 1994, the President at the time was killed when his plane was shot down and within hours the systematic killing of the Tutsi had begun.
A small group of volunteers travelled to Rwanda with Amakuru in August 2016 and we instantly fell in love with the country. From the busy capital of Kigali to the more remote Rwamagana, every inch of the country has stunning views and some of the friendliest and welcoming people you could ever meet. Although it is obvious that the genocide has touched each and every person, they continue to be optimistic about the future and many have even forgive those who caused the terrors which they experienced 22years ago. The Amakuru Trust was set up by Mike Hayes and it is dedicated to “alleviating poverty in Rwanda by supporting education, humanitarian and health projects”
After visiting three different genocide memorials, we began working with the children at Excel Bilingual School in Rwamagana, a primary school that the Amakuru Trust works very closely with. We organised a sports afternoon for one day and being able to make the children so happy with such simple games like sack races brings home the fact that they have so little in their lives, yet they are some of the best behaved children I have ever met. We then also spent a few days teaching them a variety of different lessons such as Drama, Science and Music, as well as English and Maths. All of the children we encountered were so eager to learn and the teachers have played a huge role in motivating the children. One teacher in particular stood out to me, he would praise each and every student on their handwriting and getting the correct answers. There were also two special educational needs children in his class. One of whom was unable to construct sentences, however, the teacher did not tell her off for this, he simply told her that her work was wonderful and wrote “Tried!” on her work along with a tick. The look of pride on this little girl’s face was incredible, it was at this moment that I realised how important the teachers are and how passionate they all are about their students.
Everyone in Rwanda understands the importance of education, but many still do not have access to it. This allowed us to realise how much in life we take for granted and how lucky we are to have been born in a country where high quality education is at our fingertips. In Rwanda they have realised that education is the key to escaping poverty and to living a better life, so every student strives to be the best that they could possibly be. I came away thinking that students in England could learn something about education and its value from those in Rwanda.
To anyone who still believes that the genocide in Rwanda never happened I ask you this, if it never happened then why are there so many widows, orphans and those who will never be able to fully psychologically recover in Rwanda today? What happened to the 800,000 people who were killed in just 100 days? By spending just a few hours in Rwanda it is clear that the genocide was a tragic even that had a huge impact on everyone living at the time and continues to impact on those born today.
Tori Whiffen – an Amakuru Volunteer August 2016